Sandcastle, Ryhope Road, Sunderland

The Sandcastle Pub''Ryhope Road, Grangetown
The Sandcastle Pub''Ryhope Road, Grangetown
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IF you are looking to squeeze every drop of value out of your money and enjoy a tasty meal, The Sandcastle should be near the top of your list no matter what you fancy.

 An expansive menu is boosted by refreshingly low prices and a good family setting.

 Indeed, the majority of people there were families and although it wasn’t overtly noisy or packed with screaming children, you shouldn’t go expecting a whisper-quiet atmosphere.

 There will most likely be people moving in and out of the adjacent play area, which is a great way to keep the kids entertained while waiting for your meal.

 Importantly, it is in a totally separate room to the bar area and the place doesn’t feel like some sort of wild funhouse.

 As I’ve mentioned, the menu has great variety.

 There are salads, burgers, steaks, grills, fish, curries, sharing platters and a vegetarian section.

 We skipped over starters in favour of a big main course, although it still took me a good 20 minutes to decide – spoiled for choice doesn’t do it justice.

 In the end I chose the half chicken with chips and coleslaw, while Charlotte went for the gammon steak with chips and peas.

 My chicken fell off the bone easily and was dripping in a brilliantly thick BBQ sauce, although hot sauce and teriyaki sauce are available instead.

 The sauce made the meal, it ensured the chicken never got dry and tasted gorgeous.

 The chips were delicious and practically brown in colour, they must have been homemade.

 Charlotte was complimentary about the gammon too, and also thought the chips were fantastic.

 We chose our meals from the Two for £10 selection, which covers just over half of the menu and still provides a good choice from every section.

 Drinks were cheap as well: a pint of lager is £2.70, while a medium glass of wine is £2.35. A vodka mixer is £2.65 and a Jack Daniels mixer is £2.85. A bottle of Bulmers is £3.70 and soft drinks are all reasonably priced.

 The service was prompt and provided with a smile, which I always think is important, and I enjoyed my meal.

 There was a typically extensive dessert menu which I steered clear of after demolishing half of a pretty big chicken.

 The pub is decorated as you would expect, nothing fancy but nice enough to sit in and look around. It had a few big screens that show live sports and a nice high wooden beam roof.

 All-in-all, The Sandcastle is never going to win a Michelin Star, but it provides extraordinary value for money.

 We had two main courses and a round of drinks for under £14 and the food is far better than you would expect for that sort of price.

Adam Brown